China's excavator sales grow 27.7% in September

Date Oct 15 2018 11:24:33 Source:Xinhua

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-10-14 12:41

BEIJING - Sales by China's major excavator producers continued to grow in September but at a milder pace, according to the China Construction Machinery Association.

The country's 25 leading excavator makers sold 13,408 units in September, up 27.7 percent year on year, compared with a 33-percent increase in August.

In breakdown, 11,702 excavators were sold in the domestic market, up 22.9 percent year on year. Exports of the equipment rose 74.8 percent to 1,689 units.

A total of 156,242 excavators were sold in the Jan-Sept period, up 53.3 percent on the same period last year. More than 140,000 of those were sold domestically.

Sales of excavators are usually backed by growth in mining, construction, and infrastructure investment.

Fixed-asset investment growth in China slowed to 5.3 percent for January-August from 5.5 percent in the first seven months of the year, weighed down by weakening infrastructure investment, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

China's foreign trade volume jumps 9.9%

Date Oct 12 2018 11:50:22 Source:chinadaily

By Zhong Nan | | Updated: 2018-10-12 09:57

China's foreign trade volume jumped 9.9 percent year-on-year to 22.28 trillion yuan in the first three quarters of this year, data from the General Administration of Customs show.

The country's export volume stood at 11.86 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 6.5 percent, in the first nine months, while import volume surged 14.1 percent year-on-year to 10.42 trillion yuan.

In the meantime, the country's trade surplus reached 1.44 trillion yuan, shrinking by 28.3 percent on a year-on-year basis.

The import of major bulk commodities increase in both volume and price in the first three quarters of this year.

Foreign shipments to China of crude oil, natural gas, refined oil and copper hit 336 million tons, 64.78 million tons, 24.59 million tons and 3.99 million tons between January and September of 2018, up 5.9 percent, 34 percent, 9.8 percent and 16.1 percent year-on-year respectively.

Imports of iron ore and soybeans dropped by 1.6 percent and 2 percent year-on-year to 803 million tons and 70.01 million tons, respectively.

The direct impact and indirect influence caused by ongoing trade frictions between China and United States on China's overall foreign trade is controllable, said the General Administration of Customs.

Li Kuiwen, the GAC's spokesman, said the encouraging performance of China's foreign trade during the first three quarters of 2018 laid a solid foundation for the whole year's trade perspective, pushed by the fast growth of private companies and diversified trade channels with more emerging economies, in particular those related to the Belt and Road Initiative such as Russia and Poland.

He warned that the trade growth for global goods will continue to face challenges as Sino-US trade frictions have been escalating and other instable factors still exist caused by a number of economic uncertainties worldwide.

Premiums of Jinchuan nickel shrink after unit maintenance

Date Oct 10 2018 14:16:12 Source:Gmetal

SHANGHAI, Oct 10 (SHMET) – Nickel spot prices rose with futures market on Wednesday October 10, and premiums for Jinchuan nickel fell as expected after Jinchuan Group completed maintenance works.

Supplies of Russian nickel were adequate, and the price gap between Jinchuan and Russian nickel shrank.

Downstream buyers purchased as required, and this left trading quiet.

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ILZSG Forecasts Lead Market Outlook for 2018 and 2019

Date Oct 09 2018 15:20:37 Source:SHMET

The 63rd session of the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) Committee held recently in Lisbon, Portugal reviewed the current trends and issued in global lead market. It also forecast lead market outlook for 2018 and 2019.

According to ILZSG, the global demand for refined lead metal is expected to see marginal increase by 0.2% to 11.71 million tonnes in 2018. The demand is expected to rise further by 0.7% to 11.79 million tonnes next year. The slower growth in the automotive sector is likely to lead to marginal 0.6% drop in Chinese apparent usage this year. The usage is predicted to drop further by 1.3% in 2019. Meantime, the U.S. usage will see reduction of 0.6% in 2018. However, the usage is likely to see 2.5% jump in 2019.

The world lead mine supply is likely to total 4.58 million tonnes in 2018, marginally lower by 0.4% over the previous year. On the other hand, it is expected to see notable increase by 4.1% to total 4.77 million tonnes in 2019. The jump in lead concentrate output in Cuba and India are likely to be offset by declines in Australia, China, Kazakhstan and the U.S. Meantime, the world refined lead metal production is expected to report rises of 0.4% and 2.2% in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

In essence, the demand for refined lead metal will exceed supply by 123kt in 2018. In its earlier report, ILZSG had predicted a deficit of 17kt for the current year. The revision is mainly on account of lower than expected metal output from China and Australia. For 2019, the study group forecasts surplus of 50kt.

China's credit loosening may not do much for commodity demand: Russell

Date Oct 08 2018 15:33:48 Source:Foreign media

China's commodity imports may get a shot in the arm from Beijing's decision to ease credit conditions in the world's second-largest economy, but it may not be as big a boost as followed prior monetary loosening.

The People's Bank of China on Sunday announced a steep 100 basis point cut in the level of cash that banks must hold as reserves, matching a similar move in April. 

The easing of the reserve requirement ratios (RRRs) will inject a net 750 billion yuan ($109 billion) into the banking system, making it easier for banks to extend credit.

The loosening of monetary conditions appears to be aimed at shoring up confidence in China's economy, which has been battered by the escalating trade war with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.  

There are signs that China's economy is feeling some pain from the tariff barriers being erected, with equity prices struggling and certain indicators, such as fixed asset investment, trending weaker.

In prior years, relaxing credit conditions has resulted in much of the freed-up cash being used for infrastructure and housing construction, thereby boosting demand for raw material such as iron ore, steel and copper as well as thermal and coking coal for energy to process them.

There is generally some expectation that the extra cash in the economy will flow through to additional spending on commodity-intensive activity, such as building railways and apartment buildings.

But it's worth noting that April's lowering of the RRRs didn't really do much for the level of iron ore imports, which have remained in a narrow band for much of the year, and are down 0.5 percent in the first eight months of the year compared with the same period in 2017.

Coal imports have been stronger so far in 2018, but this is more likely a reflection of stronger demand for thermal power generation, as well as robust steel output and production restrictions on the domestic industry.


Official trade data for September has yet to be released, but vessel-tracking data compiled by Refinitiv suggests a pullback in seaborne coal imports in the month. China's seaborne coal imports were 16.3 million tonnes in September, the data showed, down sharply from 19.9 million tonnes in August and the weakest month since February last year.

A drop in coal imports may not be too surprising given it's currently the shoulder season between the summer and winter power demand peaks, and higher prices may also have caused some reluctance among Chinese buyers.

Iron ore imports also tracked weaker in September, but not by much, with the Refinitiv data estimating 86.4 million tonnes, down from August's 87.3 million.

Iron ore imports this year have held in a remarkably steady range, according to the vessel-tracking data, with March's 81.4 million tonnes being the softest and May's 91.3 million being the strongest.

What the data suggests is that China's demand for iron ore hasn't been much affected by either the trade dispute with the United States, or by earlier stimulus efforts.

Iron ore prices in China were also largely unmoved by the easing of credit, with Dalian Commodity Exchange futures opening slightly stronger after the week-long national day holidays.

The front-month contract rose as high as 499.5 yuan ($72.40) a tonne in early trade on Monday, up from a close of 493 yuan on Sept. 28, but by midday it was trading around 494 yuan.

This is perhaps recognition that any stimulus will take some time to work its way through the system and if there is any boost to commodity demand, it will take several months to materialise.